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Saturday, January 18, 2014

2014 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT DEBATE: HUNTER PENCE/ALEX RIOS

Two perennially underrated and underappreciated outfielders headline our latest 2014 fantasy baseball draft debate which centers on the San Francisco Giants' Hunter Pence and the Texas Rangers' Alex Rios.  Both guys have been very good to nearly great across the broad producers in their careers but some reason or other, have not gotten the draft due they both deserve.  Pence and Rios are both graded out nearly in the same spot as top end outfielder 2's so without further delay let's compare the two in the five standard ROTO categories in order to determine who should be taken ahead of the other guy this season.

AVERAGE:  Pence is a career .285 hitter while Rios checks in at .278.  Rios hit exactly that .278 last season split between the Chicago White Sox and the Rangers, while Pence put up a .283 mark.  Slight win for Pence.
ADVANTAGE: Hunter Pence

STOLEN BASES:  While Pence is no slouch on the basepaths having stolen a career-high 22 bags last season, Rios makes a mockery of this debate after he took his own career-high of 42.  Rios is the better historical basestealer and the faster player as well.
ADVANTAGE:  Alex Rios

RUNS:  Again Pence came out on top last season 91-83 but the two flipped around the season prior.  Both guys figure to hit in the third hole again this season which means that they both will be in line to score around 90.  Too close to call.
ADVANTAGE:  EVEN

HOME RUNS:  This is where Pence takes off a bit in this debate as he comes off a career-high 27 last season while Rios only smacked 18.  Pence has also crossed the 20 home run mark four times in his career while Rios has done it on only three occasions.  We also have to mention Rios has played longer.
ADVANTAGE:  Hunter Pence

RBI:  Pence drove in 99 last year to Rios' 81 but the Rangers have a much more potent offense than do the Giants so this one could switch as well.  Very close.
ADVANTAGE:  EVEN

WINNER:  Hunter Pence

As always it was a tight debate but Pence wins out.  Rios is also a bit older than Pence and less consistent in his yearly numbers which make the Giants outfielder the way to go.

Be sure to check back for more of the starting pitching rankings as we move forward through the week.  Let us hear your thoughts.

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